Fun 1st Grade Games that Teach Skills and Concepts

First grade is an important time to learn basic reading, writing and math because these skills will act as the foundation for the rest of your child's life. Using games to teach these concepts will keep your child entertained and engaged.

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Interactive Games for 1st Graders

Children in 1st grade love to move around and play; therefore, educational games are a perfect way for kids to learn and have fun at the same time. Incorporating games at home can reinforce the concepts kids are learning in school. To increase your child's motivation to learn even more, play the following games with your child and encourage other family members to participate as well.

Cookie Letters

Teach your child about the alphabet and spelling by using a fun treat. First, bake 26 sugar cookies. Next, take an empty plastic squeeze bottle, like a ketchup bottle, and put icing in it. Then, write each letter of the alphabet on a cookie with the icing. Once the cookies are finished, give your child a letter of the alphabet and ask her to find the cookie that has it. Once she has found the cookie, ask her what sound that letter makes.

She can also practice spelling using the cookies. You may have to bake some extra cookies for letters that are used more than once in a word. You can also teach word families using the cookies. For example, start with the word cat, then take the c away and replace it with the letter 'b' to spell bat. Encourage your child to create other words that use the same word family.

Jellybeans and Eggs

This is a fun activity that will teach your child math skills. You will need:

  • Empty egg carton
  • Plastic eggs
  • Black permanent marker
  • Jellybeans

Using the permanent marker, write the numbers 1-12 on each plastic egg, and fill the eggs with jellybeans that correspond with the number on the egg. For example, write the number two on an egg and then put two jellybeans into the egg. Place all the eggs in the empty egg carton. Next, ask your child to grab two eggs from the carton and add the numbers together. She can check her answer by opening the eggs and counting the total number of jellybeans. You can also do this activity with subtraction.

Melting Ice

This game will teach your child how solids turn back into liquids. First, fill an ice tray with water and put it in the freezer. Explain to your child that when water gets very cold, it turns from a liquid to a solid.

Once the ice cubes have formed put three ice cubes into three separate bowls. Put salt in one bowl, wrap the second ice cube in aluminum foil and leave the third ice cube as is. Have your child guess which ice cube will turn back into a liquid the quickest.

If your child guessed the ice cube with the salt would melt the fastest, he is correct. Explain that salt lowers the freezing point of ice; therefore, the ice melts more quickly. The ice cube with nothing done to it should melt the second quickest. The ice cube with the aluminum foil wrapped around it should take the most time to melt. Explain that the aluminum foil keeps the ice insulated, so it doesn't melt as fast.

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